It is interesting to note that in the world of the cinema, and more particularly in that of animation, colors hold an extremely important place. Indeed, they can immediately determine (in the eye of the viewer) what type of program or characters are dealt with as soon as the colors chosen appear in a TV series or an animated feature movie.
Nowadays, most professionals as well as fans turn away from the technique known as 2D and turn to 3D animation. Indeed, one can witness this thanks to the immense amount of animated films released made by computers and the serious lack of interest in the traditional technique which brought about several box office flops in recent years including, for example, "Atlantis The Lost Empire,"," Home on the Range "," Sinbad, Legend of the Seven Seas, "" El Dorado "and more recently the very fine " The Princess and the Frog ".
Apart from the tough competition between 2D and 3D, it is nevertheless important to question whether the projects developed in these two different methods are treated in the same way. Are the colors chosen based on the technique chosen or on the ability to combine perfectly the narrative and visual style?
To illustrate my point, I'd like to compare two great animation classics, namely "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" and "Tangled", which are both Disney films classified as fairy tale genres adapted from many popular stories by the Brothers Grimm. The first, namely "Snow White" is the first Walt Disney feature animation movie and it revolutionized the world of animation as soon as it was released in 1937. The story follows the adventures of a beautiful young girl who was very unhappy with her fate and had to live many quite incredible adventures before fulfilling her dreams and finding love. Similarly, "Tangled" follows the adventures of a beautiful young girl, who was also unhappy with her lot and who was going to go through some amazing adventures before fulfilling her dream and finding love. Besides the change in mentality between 1937 and 2010 which allowed Rapunzel to have a stronger personality than Snow White, the only real difference between these two worldwide popular feature films is that one uses the 2D technique and the other, the 3D technology. Apart from this, producers in both cases have ensured to produce two interesting stories that offer endearing characters, a high quality animation and a palette of rich colors that fit the fairy tale genre.
Thus, in both cases, the color codes are strictly followed. We can see that the heroines, namely Snow White and Rapunzel wear vivid and fresh colors that are appropriate for their status of pure and noble beauty. One can also notice that the colors help the characters to tell their stories. Indeed, in the case of Rapunzel, you must know that the heroine is a princess who was locked in a tower all her life, her dress is then purple, the color of loneliness and sadness as well as that of royalty and sweetness, but above all the color for dreamers and in the case of this young lady, it fits perfectly with her image of a great dreamer who longs to discover the outside world.
Similarly, Snow White wears a blue dress (color of wisdom, truth) and yellow (color of the sun, brightness and joy) these colors represent well this heroine who is so wise, innocent and pure and who brightens the world of the prince and the seven dwarfs.
As for the darker colors that may be referred to as “ambiguous” such as red and black, they tend to be used in stories for dark or evil characters. Thus, Mother Gothel, who is the main antagonist of Tangled, wears a red dress that perfectly represents the angry and dangerous side of this complex character. It is also interesting to note that no princess in the Disney universe or any animation movie in general wears a black or red dress except in very specific cases. Indeed, it is only Esmeralda during the seduction scene in the festival of fools who wears a dress that is red. One can also cite Princess Odette’s evil twin who wears a black dress as well in a ballroom scene in the independent animation feature film "The Swan Princess".
We can say that colors do not only highlight very well characters of a film or series but they can provide all the intensity to a given scene in the story. Thus, the use of soft colors or "harsh/tough" colors would depend on the emotional intensity of the action. One can notice, for instance, the high usage of different shades of orange and red during poignant moments of action in films such as "Pocahontas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"; there is also even different shades of blue in the important magical scenes in movies like "Aladdin" and" The Little Mermaid "; yellow is also used in the great and wonderful ballroom scene that serves as a revelation of love in the movie" Beauty and the Beast. "
Thus, one can notice that colors do not make the story but they definitely back up or highlight the narration or the action as well as the personalities of the characters. In conclusion, whatever the medium, the color palette used in a movie or an animated series is primarily based, if not solely, based on the complexity of the story and the target audience.
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